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Speed N The Tunnel equals Hoosier track record

June 13, 2009

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Speed N The Tunnel and driver Sam Widger didn’t take any chances on Saturday in the $24,000 Invitational Trot at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino. The duo breezed out of the gate for the early lead and never relinquished control, winning in a quick 1:54.1 to equal the track record for older trotting mares.

Starting from post four in the eight-horse field, Speed N The Tunnel was able to defeat the boys and two heavy hitters, including Hoosier Cadillac who had won all four starts in 2009 up to this race. Although Hoosier Cadillac was closing quickly at the end from the back of the pack for driver Dan Shetler, Speed N The Tunnel was well in hand for Widger, winning the event by two lengths. Miss DW Chip and Trace Tetrick finished third.

“She (Speed N The Tunnel) was awesome today,” said trainer Brett Wilfong. “Going to the lead allowed her to control the race. After she had the accident at the farm and lost her eye, she went through a tough time and was hard to handle. Now, she is starting to relax, and let us do what we need to with her. Hoosier Park has become her favorite track. She’s won five races here now this year.”

Speed N The Tunnel is owned by Wilfong and his father, Lynn. The 6-year-old Armbro Tunnel mare now has 29 career wins and more than $383,000 in career earnings. Her career mark still stands at 1:53, set at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield last year.

In other top racing action Saturday, Robin I Scoot won the $22,000 Invitational Pace and earned an automatic bid into next week’s $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational Pace. The 4-year-old son of I Scoot Hanover used different racing tactics, coming from off the pace for driver Peter Wrenn.

Wrenn moved Robin I Scoot to the outside for the final half of the race and was able to clear the leaders and draw off from the field, posting the mile in 1:51. Royalton Star and Andy Shetler finished second over Rocket Fuel and Dan Shetler.

“I didn’t do too much with him (Robin I Scoot) today, we just got lucky,” said Wrenn. “In the last turn, I knew I was a winner. He is a lot better when you don’t use him as much. I give credit to Dan Perdue for getting him ready this week.”

Robin I Scoot will be the local representative in the Dan Patch. With four wins for the year and a new lifetime mark of 1:49.3 taken at Hoosier Park earlier this spring, Indiana’s 2008 Indiana Pacer of the Year should fit well into the stellar group of contenders for the race.

“I hope we can draw inside and get a trip,” said Dan Perdue, trainer of Robin I Scoot. “It’s the luck of the draw, but it’s really nice to be involved and I want to show them that he belongs in the Dan Patch. I think he can hang with them.”

Robin I Scoot will be one of 10 horses vying for the title in the 16th edition of the Dan Patch Invitational. The race will be carded as the 13th on the program of Saturday, June 20, with an estimated post time of 5:01 p.m. (EDT). Other horses coming in for the event include Mister Big, 2007 and 2008 Older Pacing Horse of the Year; Art Official, 2008 Hoosier Cup winner; Won The West, 2008 Dan Patch winner; and Dali, second-place finisher to Art Official in the 2008 Hoosier Cup. The impressive field of 10 sports more than $10 million in career earnings. (Hoosier Park)

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